bread · Italian recipe · leftovers · sourdough

Italian Sourdough Bread with Potatoes and Herbs

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

This is my first officially-spring post in 2015. And it’s about bread, you know… I’ve missed the blini-themed post this year as I didn’t make any Russian blini (crepes) this time. However one recipe I tried making for this year’s Maslenitsa period was pretty nice – the Swedish pancakes which were thin with just a little bit of flour, making them more like an omelette or a dessert. Ah, wait, there was another – quite challenging – recipe of wheat & rye pancakes which were really tasty with maple syrup.

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

I like using potatoes in bread recipes but sometimes they become the cause for a very short life of the bread. Not that we eat it so fast that it doesn’t last long but mostly due to the very addition of the potatoes to the yeast dough. They seem to create this sticky moldy mess in the middle of the bread in several days. I hope that this recipe I’m sharing with you today is different – at least it doesn’t have that much moisture in it. But it is very-very soft and at the same time so potato-chewy! Slice and enjoy:

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

A year ago – Sunflower Seed Rye Sourdough or We Need Sun Here

Two years ago – Thessaloniki and Sprouted Grains and Welcome Spring!

Three years ago – Mangoes and Rye to Welcome Spring

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina or Potato and Herbs Sourdough Bread adapted and translated from will make a chewy moist sourdough bread. I could not find the original recipe copied some time ago, it’s not available online anymore. So here is its English version (see my remarks in italics).


For the biga fermented for 10 hours at room temperature:

  • 90 g bread flour (farina tipo 1)  – I normally feed my sourdough with rye flour
  • 60 g water at 26 °C
  • 15 g rye sourdough culture

For the main dough:

  • 410 g bread flour  – I used a mixture of all-purpose + rye flour
  • 210 g water at 26 °C
  • 10 g rye sourdough culture
  • 8 g salt – I added less as my mashed potatoes already contained salt
  • 250 g mashed potatoes – you can use leftovers!
  • 7 g chives – I used various chopped herbs, left over from lunch


When the biga is ready (after fermenting at room temperature for 10 hours), dissolve it in water in which you have already dissolved the additional 10 g of sourdough culture. Add the mashed potatoes, then gradually add the sifted flour (I couldn’t resist making a mix with rye flour). Add the salt and make it absorbed by the mixture, then add the chives. Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes, covered. Make folds at thirty minute intervals, 5-6 folds in total (I made 5 folds but not precisely each 30 minutes…) so that your dough is ‘mature’. Leave for 20 minutes after the last fold, covered. Preshape the dough and leave for 15 minutes, covered. Make a boulle and place it into a floured basket for 40-50 minutes.

Slash the top of the loaf and bake it at 250 °C with steam for 15 minutes, then at the same 250 °C but without steam for 25 min more (here my bread started burning which I could easily tell from the smell of burning flour) and then for the final 10 minutes at 200 °C without steam and with the oven door slightly cracked (I had to switch the oven off for the last period and leave the bread inside).

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

Remarks: This is a recipe that helps using leftover mashed potatoes and probably even herbs (that’s what I did) and turns your plain bread into something more flavourful. I was using potatoes mashed with milk and butter which added some richness to the crumb. But you can use plain mashed potatoes for sure. Just add more herbs!

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

A close up of the crumb:

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

Result: The crumb is soft and crumbly, the crust is, well, in my case – burnt (rye flour that I used for sprinkling the basket also ‘helped’ here I guess). But the great thing about burning this bread a bit is that it tastes just like potatoes cooked in the ambers of a fire (or in the Russian oven)! I didn’t get much of the flavour from the herbs but for sure the addition of the mashed potatoes make this bread into a full-fledged meal.

Pane con Patate ed Erba Cipollina from

Adding this to my collections of Sourdough bread, country-specific recipes and recipes using Leftovers (where you can find more ways to use your leftover mashed potatoes).

Went to De Phazz concert yesterday – what a voice & instrument show!



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